John Harbaugh Calls Bill Bilichick Classy After Championship Loss

Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh shake hands

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is making a point to let everyone know that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was nothing but classy during the post-game handshake after the AFC Championship game.

Baltimore beat New England to advance to the Super Bowl on Sunday. Bill Belichick avoided talking to the media after the game, and NFL Network’s Shannon Sharpe called him a poor sport for it. During his tenure as the Patriots head coach, Belichick has gained a reputation as a sore loser.

Harbaugh has apparently decided to defend Belichick publicly as a great man and a professional.

Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King found a moment after the Championship game to talk with Harbaugh. Harbaugh was quick to move to the topic away from the fact that he will be facing his brother, Jim Harbaugh, in two weeks when the Ravens play the 49ers for the title.

All Harbaugh wanted to talk about was his post-game conversation with Belichick:

“I’ll treasure that conversation forever. Before the game, we talked, and he said maybe we should just skip the post-game handshake because it’s such a circus. I said I didn’t know; I thought we should do it, it’s just the right thing to do. And we did. He was so classy, so gracious. Complimentary about how we played, about our game plan, about how tough it is to play us. I told him how much we pattern our organization around theirs, how much we study them.”

That doesn’t sound like the same Belichick who famously avoided shaking hands with former assistant coach turned Browns head coach Eric Mangini after losing a game.

Here is the video of Shannon Sharpe criticizing Bill Belichick after the game on CBS:

What do you think? Is Bill Belichick’s reputation as a sore loser earned? What would make losing to John Harbaugh different?